US and Israeli warships cross Suez Canal
Rapture Forum Staff: Chris
According to a London based newspaper the U.S. and Israel have sent as many as twelve warships through the Suez Canal on Friday. This group of warships included a U.S. aircraft carrier as well as an Israeli warship. The news article did not elaborate on the exact nature or size of the Israeli warship at this time, but the report did mention the passage of the U.S. aircraft carrier and the fact that it was carrying armored vehicles, troops, and ammunition. The YNetNews article reports:
Eleven American battleships and an Israeli one crossed the Suez Canal Friday en route to the Red Sea, the London-based al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper reported. According to the report, traffic in the canal was halted for several hours in order to allow US Navy vessels, which included an aircraft carrier and carried infantry troops, armored vehicles and ammunition, to pass from the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea.
It was further reported that eyewitnesses detected an Israeli warship among the vessels. No confirmation has been received from Egyptian authorities. The report also noted that fishing activities in the area were stopped during the ships' passage as well as traffic on the bridges above the canal.
Retired Egyptian General Amin Radi, chairman of the national security affairs committee, told the paper that "the decision to declare war on Iran is not easy, and Israel, due to its wild nature, may start a war just to remain the sole nuclear power in the region.
While the Egyptians were rather negative in their comments towards the Israeli warship passage, this could be easily explained by the increased tension between Israel and her Arab neighbors over the recent Gaza flotilla crisis. But regardless, this seems to be a massive movement of ships into the Iranian military theater. Perhaps we are seeing more buildups of U.S. forces in the region in an anticipation of a military strike on Iran. We know from previous reports that the Israelis have several nuclear submarines in the Persian Gulf off the shores of Iran. Additional Israelis warships in the region are only bound to increase the already tense pressure in the region as Iran continues sprinting towards the nuclear finish line with their atomic weapons program.
While it is hard to say if this movement of warships is a sign of an imminent military action against Iran, I would advise students of Bible prophecy to watch this situation and the news reports for any further significant military assets being moved around in the region. As we noted before in previous Rapture Reports, Russia has promised to finish the Iranian nuclear plant at Bushehr in August and help the Iranians to go "online" with their nuclear program. The fact that Israel has always struck against a perceived nuclear threat before it goes "online" is a strong sign that time is clearly running out for Israel and that the window is opportunity to strike Iran is certainly closing. This would seem to me to say that the odds of a soon strike on Iran are increasing daily. As a result, we need to keep watching this situation as it could be the fuse that sets the Middle East ablaze.
In a sign that the Gaza flotilla crisis in the Middle East is heating up some, there is a new news article that says that Turkey is not the enemy of Israel, but rather that Turkish PM Recap Tayyip Erdogan is the enemy is Israel. This article comes from the Haaretz news agency and reports:
Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov slammed Turkish Prime Minister Recap Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday, saying that while Turkey isn't Israel's enemy, Erdogan is. "The Turkish people aren't the enemy, but Erdogan is Israel's enemy," said Misezhnikov in response to Erdogan's earlier comments that Turkey's problem is with the Israeli government, and not the Israeli people.
To further support the Israeli official's comments it is being reported that Erdogan is basically repeating the same thing. Erdogan is reported to have said:
Earlier on Saturday, Erdogan said that his country did not have a problem with Israel's people but rather with its government's policies, the Turkish news agency Andolu reported.
Despite the flare-up between Erdogan and the Israeli government, the Israelis have made it crystal clear that they do not have any intention of giving up their right to continue on with the Gaza naval blockade. In fact, Israel has made it known to the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that they will continue to exercise this right according to international law. The Jerusalem Post is reporting:
A letter declaring Israel's intent to stop a new flotilla of ships being organized in Lebanon to break the naval blockade of Gaza was sent to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday by the Israeli ambassador to the UN, Gabriela Shalev. "We will stop the Lebanese flotilla with all means," Shalev wrote.
Shalev also called the the new flotilla an unnecessary provocation and reiterated that Israel continued to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza at the land crossings from Israel into the Strip.
While the ongoing Gaza flotilla crisis has taken the world's eyes and mind off the Middle East peace process, I think it is quite likely that another crisis such as Israel finally acting on Iran could soon occupy the world's attention. With the United States focusing almost exclusively on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the Israelis seem to be at a point where they can catch the world off guard and take care of the Iranian threat. This Iranian threat is one that simply can't be allowed to go on much longer. And when Israel makes a move, I would imagine that this could help to further set the stage for Bible prophecy fulfillment. At this point in time all we can do is sit and watch as things take their course. But even the casual observer can see that the storm clouds are on the horizon for the Middle East. It was just the other day that Syrian President Bashar Assad made some comments whereby he placed the blame for the tension in the region on Israel and said that their actions had only made war in the region more likely. It seems to me that the writing is on the wall for all to see. It's just a matter of who moves first in this deadly cat and mouse game.
As a result, students of Bible prophecy should continue to watch the Middle East region as we know that Israel is God's time clock as it relates to the end times. By watching Israel we can discern where we are in the end times. And to me, the signs are pointing to the soon return of the Lord Jesus for his church and the fulfillment of pre-tribulation events in preparation for the eventual rise of the coming Antichrist and the coming 70th week of Daniel.
I encourage you all to keep looking up, each and every day comes with another surprise that moves us even closer to the blessed hope of the rapture of the church. As we see the signs of the end times moving around the world stage, we should keep looking up for the Bible declares that our redemption is drawing nigh. Let us also pray for the peace of Jerusalem and the Jewish people in Israel. We need to pray that God gives Israel's leaders like Netanyahu, Lieberman, and Barak the kind of knowledge and courage that they need to handle these enormous problems.